Amanda B.

Haselwood Family YMCA


I am a yoga and Barre fitness instructor at the YMCA. There are so many ways that yoga and Barre energize our well-being; increased flexibility and strength are two key benefits of both. Barre is a fun way to workout, toning the small muscles to create a long, lean form that is prepared to thrive in day-to-day activities. The deep breathing of yoga tones the Vagus nerve, a central command nerve in the human body that wanders from the brain stem down through the torso, touching on major organs including the heart, lungs, liver, and intestines. As we tone this nerve we experience a feeling of well-being that has many wonderful implications for our overall health. Essentially, deep breathing and yoga tell the Vagus nerve to impart the message to our organs that all is well, and instructs them to continue functioning with vigor.

Even with all of these amazing benefits, I feel that the most important way that our well-being gets a boost from these classes is the sense of community we experience. I love talking to students after class - many report a feeling of wellness after practicing. When people continue returning a circle of familiar faces is formed, and people create connections with each other. In our modern culture sometimes we feel isolated. This feeling of loneliness drains our sense of well-being, but when we attend class, we feel connected with one another and no longer feel so alone. We are uplifted, and our health deepens on many levels - spirit, mind and body.